While the NBA was performing an augmented reality demonstration included in its League Pass, the atmosphere is much more gloomy for the classic broadcast of matches on regional TV networks. In parallel with retransmissions on the national network (TNT, ABC and ESPN), NBA matches are thus broadcast locally on cable channels, equivalent to what France 3 Regions offers in France.
Property of the Diamond Sports Group, Bally Sports thus manages the broadcasting of local matches of 42 professional franchises, including 16 in the NBA, such as the Clippers, the Suns or the Pistons and the Cavaliers! The problem is that the parent company is in default, with a debt of 140 million dollars, and Diamond Sports Group has 30 days to satisfy creditors before liquidation proceedings are initiated.
A bankruptcy filing would mean at the same time that each franchise concerned would have to find a new broadcaster for its home meetings. “Will there be a redistribution of matches? Yes. Will this be done through regional networks? I really hope so. I hope so “, reacted Steve Ballmer at the Associated Press. “Will their bankruptcy be favorable enough for this to happen? I hope so. Are the creditors likely to want our matches to continue to be shown? I think so. So somehow, I believe in it not knowing if we’re going to make it. »
A medium-term problem, but not a long-term one
What does Adam Silver think? In the short term, he is not worried because there are only about twenty games left to play in the regular season.
“In the short term, I am not at all worried” he said on Saturdayand ballpark du All-Star Weekend. “It’s broadly around the NBA regular season in terms of broadcasting and distributing those games directly to our customers, and if they did file for bankruptcy, there wouldn’t be many regular season games left. During this period, we will have arrangements in place, if necessary, to continue broadcasting these matches. So I think that’s what’s most important.”
On the other hand, in the medium term, and therefore for next season, this can be problematic.
“I would say that in the long term, I’m not worried because there are so many other means and platforms, whether it’s terrestrial television, streaming services, and other digital means of access straight to the fans. On the other hand, in the medium term, this is a problem that will have to be managed. »